Fifteen days. Three-hundred and sixty hours until the wedding
I was staying with Alice and the girls while the boys went hunting. I could have just stayed at home – I should have just stayed at home. Alice insisted that I come over though – the girls wanted to have round-the-clock access to me, so we could squeeze more wedding planning time in – and I could never refuse Alice anything. It seemed harmless at the time. We were safe now. No more Victoria, no more newborn army, no more heart-breaking decisions to make. What was the worst thing that could possibly happen when I was safe inside the house?
After four hours of wedding planning, I feigned exhaustion and escaped up to Edward's room. I was curled up on the bed – planning to take a nap – when I noticed the envelope. It was a letter from Dartmouth, and it was postmarked last week. I stared at it for an hour before I even touched it. It was already opened, so he'd never know if I looked, but I didn't – at first. It was wrong wrong wrong to pry, I knew that. I felt guilty for even looking at it, for even considering it. I tried to forget that I'd ever seen it. I would have, too – but then I noticed that the letter wasn't for Edward. It was addressed to Isabella Swan – me. Now, why would there be a letter from Dartmouth – addressed to me – at Edward's house?
Fourteen days. Three-hundred and thirty-six hours until the wedding
"Bella, you have to make a decision. You can't keep agonizing over this forever. Pick one." Alice said, interrupting my musing.
I blinked twice and tried to remember what it was that I was supposed to be deciding. Rosalie and Esme stared at me as well; everyone was waiting for an answer, but I didn't know how to respond. It was funny that Alice would use those words. Because I did have an important decision to make; one that I'd been agonizing over for weeks – one that I thought I'd already made.
"Whatever you think is best," I told her quietly.
Alice huffed and looked at me reproachfully. "I think they are both equally disgusting, Bella. You'll have to make this decision yourself. Do you want them to serve chicken or beef at the reception?"
Chicken or beef? I thought to myself. Vampire or werewolf? Chicken or beef? Edward or Jacob? I winced at Jacob's name.
"Beef," I said with a sigh. Jacob liked beef better than chicken…
"See! It wasn't too hard to make a decision."
I laughed because the entire situation was ridiculous. I'd already made my decision. I'd already said goodbye to Jacob; left him broken like Edward had once left me. Why was I suddenly sure I'd made a grave – no pun intended – mistake?
The three of them turned their beautiful faces towards me – clearly they didn't see the humor in the situation.
"What's so funny?" Rosalie asked.
"Nothing," I said quickly, and Alice proceeded to give me a small lecture about the seriousness of the situation – did I understand how essential every minute was when there were only two weeks left before the wedding? There were decisions that had to be made! Wedding planning was serious business – before she continued with the incessant questioning.
Two weeks. Fourteen days. Three-hundred and thirty-six hours.
That's how much time I had before the wedding.
I'd been looking forward to it – counting down the days happily. Even though I hadn't wanted a big wedding at first, I'd thrown myself into the wedding plans with Alice. I was finally going to belong to Edward, and I wanted the world to know. We were going to be together – forever – and I was ecstatic. But what I found yesterday changed everything.